Senior righty Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) threw the second perfect game of her career Saturday as the hot-hitting Gators racked up two more wins in the USF Wilson DeMarini Tournament, first against Long Island, 9-2, and then a 9-0 shutout over NC State. Fifth-ranked Florida (4-0) has allowed just three runs in four games so far this season, but has put up 41 runs in as many games.
The Gators added five home runs to the weekend tally Saturday after racking up seven on Friday evening for a grand total of 12 in just four outings. Florida sent two sailing over the fence against the NC State Wolfpack and three against Long Island earlier in the afternoon.
With the Gators up 7-0 against NC State at the bottom of the fifth and freshman Chelsea Howell (Plantation, Fla.) on second as a pinch runner after a Tiffany DeFelice (Coral Springs, Fla.) double, freshman shortstop Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif.) smashed her fourth homer this season out of the park. With one ball and two strikes against her and two outs on the board for the Gators, Coyle’s bomb sailed over the center-field fence, giving the Orange and Blue a 9-0 advantage over the Wolfpack to enforce the mercy rule and handing Brombacher just the fifth perfect game in UF history.
Brombacher (2-0) fanned six, using 67 pitches to retire all 15 NC State batters, tallying her second career perfect outing, the last being March 25, 2010, against USF in a 10-0 (5) Gator effort. Kayla Cox (1-1) shouldered the loss for NC State, giving up eight hits, four walks and striking out eight.
While the Gators were hot during their fifth-inning rally, the bats were swinging in the third as sophomore Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif.) hit her second home run in as many days to bring in three scores, two off a Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) single and an Aja Paculba (Wildomar, Calif.) walk.
Early in the first inning, Moultrie scored on a Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) sacrifice fly, her second of the season, to give the Gators a one-run lead early in the winning effort.
UF’s momentum from Friday shined not only in the five-inning defeat of NC State, but early in the Gators’ first game against Long Island when first year Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) tallied her second win of the season. Rogers recorded three strikeouts on the day, bringing her total to 14 after 11 in Friday’s win over FGCU. Florida was first on the board, putting up two runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning, thanks to a double by Paculba that brought Moultrie home and a single to right center by Schutte that drove in Paculba.
After Long Island knotted the score at two-all at the top of the second, freshman Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) started a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning that resulted in four Florida runs to take the lead, 6-2, following the second. Fagan, the No. 9 hitter, turned the lineup over with a single to center field and moments later a stolen base, as Moultrie followed with a single that allowed Fagan to score. Moultrie took a base of her own, stealing second. For the second day in a row, back-to-back home runs ensued, first on a strike by Paculba, then a shot by senior Kelsey Bruder (Corona, Calif.) to close out the second.
The Gators held LIU scoreless for the remainder of the game, but Bush helped add two more scores when she homered for the second day in a row, after a grand slam Friday, hitting a two-run bomb over the center-field fence, bringing in Schutte, who reached on a Megan Sheaf pitch, to take UF ahead 8-2 bottom of fifth,
Florida’s final score of the first game against the Blackbirds came at the bottom of the sixth following a Fagan walk, Moultrie bunt and a Bruder single to center that drove in Fagan for the ninth and final run. Sheaf (0-2) took the loss for Long Island, giving up 11 hits, two walks and striking out just five.
Florida will return for the final day of the Wilson DeMarini Tournament Sunday for the first of three match-ups this season with USF. The Gators and Bulls square off at 1 p.m. from the Eddie C. Moore Complex and the game will be carried live on 105 The Game locally with Mike Gillespie and Kristina Hilberth.—UF Sports Info